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Pryce Studios Newsletter Archive

Pryce Studios Newsletter
April 6th, 2011 - No. 4 

This week I expand on last week's subject of "underpainting" with another reader question.

Enjoy. :-) 


This Weeks Topic:
"Ask John" - The Power of Negative Painting

Marilyn from Nelson, B.C. Canada asks about the March 29 newsletter regarding mixing the underpainting colors with subsequent layers of paint.


"Does this work with acrylic paint, as it dries so quickly and therefore doesn't blend like oils."


Thank you for a good question Marilyn.

As we all know, acrylics are much quicker drying than oils and  do not blend with the underpainting as readily. However,  there is a way to obtain some blending and soft edges with the use of acrylic retarder. I am showing in these photos how I obtain some soft areas in the background with the use of retarder.


 Negative Painting 

Negative Painting 2 

When the retarder is used it also gives you the chance to "pick up", or "remove" some pigment before it dries. I have shown how I apply the underpainting, remove some pigment and then apply the heavier layers of paint. I call this "The power of Negative Painting" because I am working a lot of negative painting into the soft neutral areas of the background, and the higher value and higher chroma areas in the foreground.  


Negative Painting 3 

Negative Painting 4  

The orange and Burnt Sienna underpainting gives a color harmony, as well as setting up a good background for the higher value and heavier pigment at the last part of the painting.


Negative Painting 5 

I hope that this example answers your question and is helpful to you.


Best Regards,


Pryce Studios 

A special thank you to my friend and great painter, Shelly Burke, for letting me use her forest reference photograph in this newsletter .

 Quote of the week:

"I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.

Andrew Wyeth


Quick Links: 

My New Tuscany Workshop!  

Oct 7-14 2011  

· Limited class size · Bonus free copy of my book "Plein Air Odyssey" with
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New Schedule of  Local Classes and Plein Air Workshops this spring!

More info to come

Stay Tuned! 

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